2013 Connecticut General Statutes
Title 53a - Penal Code
Chapter 952 - Penal Code: Offenses
Section 53a-193 - Definitions.


CT Gen Stat § 53a-193 (2013) What's This?

The following definitions are applicable to this section and sections 53a-194 to 53a-210, inclusive:

(1) Any material or performance is “obscene” if, (A) taken as a whole, it predominantly appeals to the prurient interest, (B) it depicts or describes in a patently offensive way a prohibited sexual act, and (C) taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value. Predominant appeal shall be judged with reference to ordinary adults unless it appears from the character of the material or performance or the circumstances of its dissemination to be designed for some other specially susceptible audience. Whether a material or performance is obscene shall be judged by ordinary adults applying contemporary community standards. In applying contemporary community standards, the state of Connecticut is deemed to be the community.

(2) Material or a performance is “obscene as to minors” if it depicts a prohibited sexual act and, taken as a whole, it is harmful to minors. For purposes of this subdivision: (A) “Minor” means any person less than seventeen years old as used in section 53a-196 and less than sixteen years old as used in sections 53a-196a and 53a-196b, and (B) “harmful to minors” means that quality of any description or representation, in whatever form, of a prohibited sexual act, when (i) it predominantly appeals to the prurient, shameful or morbid interest of minors, (ii) it is patently offensive to prevailing standards in the adult community as a whole with respect to what is suitable material for minors, and (iii) taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value for minors.

(3) “Prohibited sexual act” means erotic fondling, nude performance, sexual excitement, sado-masochistic abuse, masturbation or sexual intercourse.

(4) “Nude performance” means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering, or the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any portion thereof below the top of the nipple, or the depiction of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state in any play, motion picture, dance or other exhibition performed before an audience.

(5) “Erotic fondling” means touching a person’s clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or if such person is a female, breast.

(6) “Sexual excitement” means the condition of human male or female genitals when in a state of sexual stimulation or arousal.

(7) “Sado-masochistic abuse” means flagellation or torture by or upon a person clad in undergarments, a mask or bizarre costume, or the condition of being fettered, bound or otherwise physically restrained on the part of one so clothed.

(8) “Masturbation” means the real or simulated touching, rubbing or otherwise stimulating a person’s own clothed or unclothed genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or, if the person is female, breast, either by manual manipulation or with an artificial instrument.

(9) “Sexual intercourse” means intercourse, real or simulated, whether genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex or between a human and an animal, or with an artificial genital.

(10) “Material” means anything tangible which is capable of being used or adapted to arouse prurient, shameful or morbid interest, whether through the medium of reading, observation, sound or in any other manner. Undeveloped photographs, molds, printing plates, and the like, may be deemed obscene notwithstanding that processing or other acts may be required to make the obscenity patent or to disseminate it.

(11) “Performance” means any play, motion picture, dance or other exhibition performed before an audience.

(12) “Promote” means to manufacture, issue, sell, give, provide, lend, mail, deliver, transfer, transmit, publish, distribute, circulate, disseminate, present, exhibit, advertise, produce, direct or participate in.

(13) “Child pornography” means any visual depiction including any photograph, film, videotape, picture or computer-generated image or picture, whether made or produced by electronic, mechanical or other means, of sexually explicit conduct, where the production of such visual depiction involves the use of a person under sixteen years of age engaging in sexually explicit conduct, provided whether the subject of a visual depiction was a person under sixteen years of age at the time the visual depiction was created is a question to be decided by the trier of fact.

(14) “Sexually explicit conduct” means actual or simulated (A) sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital or oral-anal physical contact, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex, or with an artificial genital, (B) bestiality, (C) masturbation, (D) sadistic or masochistic abuse, or (E) lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person.

(15) “Visual depiction” includes undeveloped film and videotape and data, as defined in subdivision (8) of section 53a-250, that is capable of conversion into a visual image and includes encrypted data.

(1969, P.A. 828, S. 195; P.A. 74-124; P.A. 78-331, S. 21, 58; 78-345, S. 1, 4; P.A. 83-507; P.A. 85-496, S. 4; P.A. 92-260, S. 76; P.A. 04-139, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 74-124 added provision re application of contemporary community standards in judgments concerning obscenity; P.A. 78-331 extended applicability of definitions to encompass Sec. 53a-196a; P.A. 78-345 amended Subsec. (b) to replace “nudity, sexual conduct, sexual excitement or sado-masochistic abuse” with reference to prohibited sexual acts, to redefine “minor” re 16-year-olds, to replace definition of “nudity” with definition of “nude performance”, to delete definition of “sexual conduct”, to define “prohibited sexual act”, “erotic fondling”, “masturbation”, and “sexual intercourse” and to redefine “harmful to minors” as description or representation which lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value for minors rather than as something “utterly without redeeming social importance for minors” and redefined “material” in Subsec. (c) to specify something used or adapted to arouse “prurient, shameful or morbid” interest; P.A. 83-507 amended Subsec. (a) to redefine “obscene” by replacing (1) “its predominant appeal is to prurient, shameful or morbid interest in nudity, sex, excretion, sadism or masochism” with “it predominantly appeals to the prurient interest”, (2) “it goes substantially beyond customary limits of candor in describing or representing such matters” with “it depicts or describes in a patently offensive way a prohibited sexual act” and (3) “it is utterly without redeeming social value” with “taken as a whole, it lacks serious literary, artistic, educational, political or scientific value”, and reordered and redesignated the other definitions; P.A. 85-496 included reference to section 53a-196c and added definition of “child pornography”; P.A. 92-260 made definitions applicable to “this section and sections 53a-194 to 53a-210, inclusive” rather than to “sections 53a-193 to 53a-196a, inclusive and section 53a-196c”, replaced alphabetic Subsec. indicators with numeric indicators, amended Subsec. (1) to replace numeric Subdiv. indicators with alphabetic indicators and add “or performance” in provisions re judging predominant appeal and applying community standards, and amended Subsec. (2) to replace numeric Subdiv. indicators with alphabetic indicators and alphabetic Subpara. indicators with numeric indicators; P.A. 04-139 applied definitions to Secs. 53a-196e to 53a-196g, inclusive, amended Subdiv. (2) to make a technical change and to delete in Subpara. (A) applicability to Sec. 53a-196c of definition of a minor as a person less than 16 years old, redefined “child pornography” in Subdiv. (13) and added definitions of “sexually explicit conduct” and “visual depiction” as Subdivs. (14) and (15), respectively.

The definition of obscenity is sufficiently explicit to inform a person of ordinary intelligence of what material would be in violation of the law. 32 CS 639.

Former Subsec. (a):

Cited. 3 CA 80. Cited. 28 CA 91.

The definition of “obscene” contained in this section is presently immune from attack upon the grounds of vagueness or over breadth at the federal level. 32 CS 639.

Former Subsec. (b):

Cited. 28 CA 91.

Former Subsec. (c):

Cited. 28 CA 91.

Former Subsec. (d):

Cited. 28 CA 91.

Cited. 38 CS 570, 574.

Former Subsec. (h):

Cited. 29 CA 591.

Former Subsec. (l):

Cited. 28 CA 91.

Subdiv. (11):

Requirement in Sec. 53a-196d, through its incorporation of Sec. 53a-193(11) and (13), that the live performance depicted in the materials be “performed before an audience” means that there must be some recording or viewing of, or listening to, a live performance, or a reproduction of a live performance, by a person or persons other than the person or persons simultaneously engaged in the performance; the number of such persons recording, viewing or listening to the performance and whether they are actually present at the live performance. 252 C. 579.

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